Anki Vector Robot Teardown

by | Dec 30, 2019

Leanne Cushing, CEO of Anki and Captain of Team Valkyrie on Battlebots, joins Swetha Sriram from Fictiv to break down the Anki Vector Robot and analyze some of the complexities incurred through the DFM process.

The robot was sold at an MSRP of $250 and has over 50 custom molded pieces. This video serves as a reality check for product developers and emphasizes the importance of keeping things as simple as possible.

The Anki Vector Robot is a mini-desk pet which can tell you the weather, allows you to pet it, and other simple interactions to brighten your day whilst working away at your desk.

Head Assembly
Because the main interaction point is the head part of the robot, it’s also the most costly. Every motor interaction has a separate gearbox, separate plastic pieces, each made with different materials, e.g. polycarbonate, PC ABS, ABS. Because there are mirrored pieces it will automatically require two separate molds to be created and used which adds to the expense of the product manufacturing.

Array of Plastic Parts
Next, the focus shifts to the number of plastic parts and custom molds there are within the little robot. Vector’s cube that it plays with is comprised of different plastics, contains metal parts embedded within it, and rubbers overmolds contributing to its complexities. Micromachining and a continued theme of mirrored parts only serve to drive up the costs of manufacturing the robot.

Design for Assembly
The mainboard in the robot contains basic servos and JST connectors which has to be threaded through the board. Tight tolerances, manual wire threading, and much more round out the reasons behind why Anki had to close its doors in April. A lesson learned the hard way.

Watch the video for the full teardown review.
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